Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Importunity

In two parables of prayer, Jesus spoke of importunity. Shamelessness. A friend comes to your house in the middle of the night asking for food for a visitor who has arrived at his house. You don't get up to help him because he's your friend. But if he is shamelessly begging and nagging at you, and if he refuses to give in and becomes a bother -- and doesn't mind that he's a bother-- you're gonna get up and give it to him. Just to shut him up.

Jesus said, God is more willing to give to us than we are willing to expect help. When a human being really wants something earthly he/she goes to all kinds of trouble to get it. The committment to a need is relatively easy for some folks when looking for earthly stuff. Some folks don't persevere, mind you. They give up. Or they give up after a year, or they give up after three years. Sometimes I look at a love story on television and the guy wants girl but the girl says "no." But guy nags her -- almost like sexual harassment sometimes-- and finally gets her. (Remember Molly Ringwald and Rob Downey Jr? Remember Marisa Tomei and Rob Downey Jr? Heck, remember any love story with Robert Downey Jr? Persevereance all the way.)

But in prayer, we don't importune. We often don't reach the point of shamelessness in our begging. We don't get obsessed with the idea that "God gives, therefore He has GOT TO give to me."

It's not God who is unwilling to give. Other factors are involved: demonic challenges, our own sins, our relatively bad or utter lack of interest.

Remember we think we are interested in getting our prayers answered. But have we turned off the television for a month to devote all that time to praying?

Storms, etc, come against us. Remember when Jacob was returning to reestablish his relationship with Esau. An angel met him and challenged him? And he FOUGHT that angel. Remember when Moses was returning to Egypt to free the people (and he didn't have the circumcision.) An angel met him and would have killed him. If it weren't for Zipporah, who was a descendant of Midian, a descendant of Abraham, who reminded him of the circumcision covenant (which the Israelites apparently had forgotten) he would have been destroyed. Remember when Jesus and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilea and the big storm came up against them? Probably because Satan knew the Legion in the demon-possessed man was going to be cast out and the man would be freed and become an evangelist for Christ in that area and Satan was doing everything against it. Jesus told the storm to shut up. Remember the men with the paralyzed friend and how they knocked down the roof of Peter's house?

Great prayers are challenged, great times are challenged, but we have to be shameless in praying and obsessed with getting what we want.

That said, I wanted to go to Andrew Wommack's healing service. And was quite willing to do anything to go there. But the Lord specifically told me to do only what my husband wanted to do and to say nothing to hubby about the trip --say neither good nor bad, yes or no about it. I said nothing. And hubby said, "we can't go. we don't have the money." I'm taking that as the will of God. Maybe He wants my son's healing to come through us...regular Christians. Instead of super-Christians. Anyway, am importuning. -C
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